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TOMB

OF

AtftfIHILATIOtf"

CREDITS

Designers: Christopher Perkins, Will Doyle, Steve Winter Additional Design: Adam Lee Story Consultants: Pendleton Ward, James Lowder

Story Creators: Christopher Perkins, Adam Lee, Richard Whitters

Lead Rules Developer: Jeremy Crawford

Managing Editors: Jeremy Crawford , Christopher Perkins

Editors: Michele Carter, Scott Fitzgerald Gray

Editorial Assistance: Matt Sernett

Art Director: Kate Irwin

Additional Art Direction: Shauna Narciso, Richard Whitters

Graphic Designer: Eml Tanji

Cover Illustrator: Ben Oliver

Interior Illustrators: Ma rk Behm , Eric Beli sle, Zoltan Boros ,

Ch ristopher Brad ley, Jedd Chevrier, Daa rke n, Chris Dien. O lga

Drebas, Leesha Hanni ga n, Victor Maury, Chris Seaman,

Trego-Erdner, Richa rd Wnitters, Eva Widerman, Shawn Wood

Cory

Cartographer: Mike Schley

Producer: Stan! Project Manager: Heather Fleming Product Engineer: Cynda Callaway

Imaging Tech nician: Carmen Cheung

David Ge rshman

Art Administration:

Prepress Specialist: Jefferson Dunlap

Other D&D Team Members: Bart Carroll, Trevor Kidd , Christopher

Linds ay, Shelly Mazz anoble, Mike Mearls , Ben Petr isor, Hilary

Ross. Liz Schuh, Nathan Stewart, Greg Tito

The following O&O books provided material and inspiration:

Cook, David.

Dwellers ofihe Forbidden City.

1981.

Gygax, Gary.

Monster Manual II.

1983.

Gygax, Gary.

Tomb of Horrors.

1978.

 

Lowder, James .

Lowder, James and jean Rabe.

The Ringo/Win ter.

2012.

The jungles ofChult.

Novak, Kate and Jeff Gru bb.

Azure Bonds.

1988.

TSR, Inc .

Fiend Folio.

1981

1993.

FOREWORD

Tomb ofAnnihilation is a story about death and the

lengths individuals go to avoid

it.

As is true with many

D&D

adventures, it's bound to be funny, not so much in

the words and pictures, but in the experience of play- ing it. Every bad player decision, unfortunate die roll,

plan gone awry, silly voice, dorky monster, and ill-timed character death has the potential to make us laugh. Like clowns in a rodeo, adventurers will often do hilarious things to survive and succeed.

This adventure

is

much more than a

deadly

dungeon.

To make it fun, we tu rned to Pendleton Ward, creator

of the D&D-inspired animated series Adventure Time.

Pen is a master storyteller who knows how to craft a

meaningful narrative around humorous characters and

trappings, and he understands that

create their own hilarity when given fun toys to play

with. With Pen's help, we've tried to c raft a tale filled

with classic

you and your players laugh, even as things are looking

the dancing monkey fruit doesn't

do it for you, maybe the catapulting goblin village or the zombie-spewing undead tyrannosaurus will. There's

also the tomb itself, which

D&D

players can

D&D

tropes and odd twists that will make

If

will

hopefully illicit chuckles

grim for the heroes.

and screams of laughter with its murderous ingenuity.

To our playtesters,

I offer my heartfelt gratitude. You

helped make Tomb ofAnnihilation a more fun experi-

ence for everyone. Your feedback-as brutal as any trap found herein-w as tremendously valuable. Rest assured,

your characters didn't die for nothing.

Chris Perkins

May2017

ON THE COVER

Deep withi n the ju ng le lies

returns. Ben Oliver reveals the tomb's sinister architect

trapping souls for reasons unknown. Enter at your own peril!

a tomb from which no adventure r

, who is

Disclaimer: Tllis adv•ntvr<

rhat • ou owo yai th eir

souls

will

makl your players hat• you-

until all that remains art dork

t h• kind of simmerini haired

t;ule spheru

of oru1lhilotion

wh.,e thsir hearh uud to

bt.

PS Don't forget to tear up their

ehara' '"

sheeu.

620C2208000001

ISBN: 978-0-7869-6610-3

EN

First Print ing:

September 2017

987654321

CE

DUNG EONS & DRAGO NS, D&O, \lli1ards o f the

Coan,

sters, all other Wizards

of

the Coas t

pro duct n a mes.

and

For gotten Realms, the dragon a mpersa nd ,

Pla yer's Handbook,

thei r respe ttive logo$ are tradem ark s of Wiza rd s

of th e

Co~st

Monslor

Manual,

Dungeon MaSlor's Cuid1.

Vo/o's

Cuirle

to

Mon·

in th e

USA and othe r c:ountri t!s. All characters and

th eir d is tine·

tive liken esses are

ma teri al or u twork conta ined herein

proper ty ofWiurds

i1

o f the Coast. This materl1l ls protec:ted under the copyrigh t laws of the Unhed States of America . Any reprod uction or un a ut hon zed use of th e prohibited without th-e express writte n permiss ion o(Wl z.ards ofthe Coast.

Printed in the USA . e2017 Wl urdsoftheCoaSI LLC, PO Box 707, Re nton, WA 9 80 S7·0707, USA . Manufactured by Hasbro SA, Rue Emll e · Bok h at 31, 2800

Represente d

b:

Hasb ro

Eu rope

4

Th e

Square

Stoc kl ey

Park

U1bridge

Midd lesex

UBJl

1EI

UK

Dt llm o nt , CH .

CONTENTS

Dramatis Personae

Introduction Story Overview Running the Adventure Starting the Adventure Welcome to Chult

Ch. 1: Port Nyanzaru Arrival Side Quests Locations in the City City Denizens Merchant Prince's Villa Factions and Their Representatives Things to Do

Ch. 2: The Land of Chult The Expedition Begins Locations in ChuIt

Ch. 3: Dwellers ofthe Forbidden City Omu Locations in the City

Ch. 4: Fane ofthe Night Serpent Schemes of the Yuan-ti Getting Inside Locations in the Temple

Ch S: Tomb of the Nine Gods History of the Tomb Exploring the Tomb

Spirits of the Nine Trickster Gods Level 1: Rotten Halls Level 2: Dungeon ofDeception Level 3: Vault ofReflection Level 4: Chambers of Horror

Level 5: Gears ofHate

PLAYTESTERS

4

5

5

5

8

11

15

16

16

18

24

27

29

31

37

37

41

91

91

95

111

111

112

114

125

125

126

129

130

139

146

157

168

Level 6: Cradle of the Death God

Conclusion App. A: Character Backgrounds

App. B: Random Encounters

Port Nyanzaru Encounters Wilderness Encounters

Omu Encounters

App. C: Discoveries Flora and Fauna Magic Items

App. D: Monsters and NPCs

App. E: Player Handouts

App. F; Trickster Gods ofOmu

Stat Blocks Acererak Albino Dwarf Warrior Aldani (Lobsterfolk) Almiraj Ankylosaurus Zombie Artus Cimber Assassin Vine Atropal Bodak Brontosaurus Champion Chwinga Deinonychus Dimetrodon Dragonbait Eblis

Firenewt

Warlock of!mix

Firenewt

Warrior

Flail Snail

Flying Monkey

Froghemoth

178

189

191

193

193

193

204

205

205

206

209

243

256

209

210

210

211

240

212

213

214

215

215

216

216

217

217

218

219

219

219

220

220

221

Giant

Four-Armed Gargoyle

221

Giant

Snapping Turtle

222

Giant

Strider

222

Girallon

222

Girallon

Zombie

240

Grung

223

Grung

Elite Warrior

223

Grung Wildling

224

Hadrosaurus

224

Jaculi

225

Kamadan

225

Kobold

Inventor

226

Kobold

Scale Sorcerer

226

Liara Portyr

227

Mantrap

227

Mwaxanar e

228

Pterafolk

229

Quetzalcoatlus

230

Ras Nsi

230

Stegosaurus

231

StoneJuggernaut

231

Su-monster

232

Tabaxi

Hunter

232

Tabaxi

Mins trel

233

Thorny

233

Tri·flower Frond

234

Tyrannosaurus Zombie

241

Vegepygmy

234

Vegepygmy Chi ef

235

Veloclraptor

235

Volothamp "Volo" Geddarm

235

Xandala

236

Yellow

Musk

Creeper

237

Yellow

Musk Zombie

237

Yuan-ti

Broodguard

238

Yuan-ti

Nightmare Speaker

239

Zindar

239

Zorbo

241

Dam i«o Abreu. Emrnan ucl Acosta , Manny Acosta, Robert Alaniz, Stacey Allan, jay Anderson, Paul Aparicio , Lulte Austin·Sm ith , Matt Aus:tin, Andrew Bahls, Ch ris Balboni, Melissa Bassett, Sim on Ba tc he l or, Jason Baxter, Lawrence Be-aJs, Scott Bec k, And re Begin, Jerry Beh rend t, Charles Benscoter, Jacob Benscoter, Shawn Bergse ng , Sticy Bermes , Jim Berri er, Giles Bl d.ne ll ,

Lauren Bilanko. Joseph Boerjes , Miranda Fay~Bowen, Matt Boyd, Scott Srcmd, Zt1cha ry Brand , Jordan Brass, Gartl!rt Bray, Ken Breese, Chris Breun ig, Travis Brock, Bobby Brown, Matthew

Bvddhe, Charles Bur-bti dgc, Willi Burge r,

Chang, Paul Charvet, Pantelis Chatzln lkolls, Lemuel Che ung, Emre Ciha ngir, Jeffery Clark , Heathe r Coleman, Garrett Co l6n, Ivan Cortez, Melanie Co te, James Courell, Ma rk Coulter, Drew

Crevelfo Manon Crevier, Alexander Crouzen. Cait Davis, Ma rcell o De Velazquez, Yourik de

Eadie, Jo~o Edua rdo, Andrew Eggle sto n, Jay Elmore, Clayton Embrey.

Fergusson, Cr.ant Fisk , Star Fitzgerald , Shannon Flowe rs, Alex Forsyt h, Mike fowl er, O~nielFranco, Jason Fransella , Sean Freeland, Max f rutig, Travis Fuller, Dominique Gaddis, Jeremiah

Gaddis, Cass ie Garrett, Ben Carton , Kellfe Getty , Stephen "Guppy" Ge t ty, Luke Ci1rne ll a, Bryan Gillispie, Gundufa Gonzatt>z, Ma x·well Cord, Curt Could , N id Graves, Jeremy Green, Michael Greene, Mark Greenbe rg, Kevin Grigsby, Nicci Grigsby, Jim Hackbarth, Jell' H•gen , Sarah Hager, Rob Hall, Step h Hall, Matt Hammond , Michael Harman, Lon ny Harper. Bryan Harris, Gregory L. Harris, Oan Ha tsh, Frederick Harvey, Nick Hawks, , Ian Hilwt horne, j\lmet Hazel , Steve Hcitkc, Mary Hershey, Sterling Hershey, Jaso n Hesse, Michael Hespr ich, Will Hines. Andrew Hitchcock, Jeremy Hochhalter, Mackenzie Hoffman, William Hoffma n, Jeffrey Hofman n, Bradyn Holaus,Josh Hoyt, Howard "Poly" Hubb le, Paul Hughes, Angela Imrie, Jell'

Im ri e, Ja cob Ingalls, Kelly Inga lls, Dave Jackson, Chris Jerni gan , Emily

King, James Kirtley, Matt Klasse n, Dan Klinestiver, Kiri< Klo pfenstein, Mark Knap ik , William Knigh t , Mark Knobbe, Cabe Knouf, Jason Knutson , Todd Krieg, Jeff Ku b iak, T im Kubik , Nicole Kuprienko, Yan Lacharite, Bruce LaClair 1 Brian Lakema n , Elisa laudato , Mar tyn Lawren ce, Shane Leahy, Francois P. Lefebvre Sr.• Eric Leroux 1 Damon Liddell, Michael Liebhart, Gray Uhou,

Cindy Liu, Jessie Livingston, Matt Uvlngston, Tom Lommol, Michael long, Jon ath an Longstaff, Jason Lop•z. Ginny Loveday, Keith Loveday, Helano 8. Lucia no, Kevin Luebke, Gabrie l S.

Machado 1 Joe Manganie ll o_, Nic k Man gan i e llo, Matt

McDonnell , Chris McGovern , Stacy McGovern , Billy Meinhard t, William Me inha rd t, Paul Melamed, Hugo Mend ieta, Jonatha n Mendoza, Ange l Mich elli, Janai na Michelli, Justin Michelli ,

Lou Michelli, Luciano Miche lli, Jason Midd el ton, Shawii

Minkiewicz, Daren Mitchell , Cind y Moore, Scott Moore, Ben Marrier, Dav id Morris , Blake Morri$o n. John Mo rton, Ch ri stopher Moss, Tim Mottishaw, Jawsh Murdock, Willi am Myers* Je re my Nagorny, Wi ller Nau, Yosefat Nava, Daniel Norton, Rich ard N un n , Jo hn Oehl berg, Daniel Ol iveira , Jesus Orti z. Kel sey Ortiz, Matthew Ouimet, Rob Pa rker, John-Alan Pascoe, Ca t Pau ley, Russ Pauf$en, Chris Payne, Matthew Pen ni ngton, Satfne Phoen ix, Zachary Pickett, Cheryl Pierce, Victor 8 . Pime nte l, Vanessa F. Pinhe iro . loyce Pinnow, Scott Pinnow. Jeremy Piesco, To ny Porteo us, Dan Pratt, Mark Price , Ne-I Pu lanco, St anden Purdham, Jenn ifer Puttress, Robe rt Qu ili en 11, Rya n Q uint, Ben Rabin, Kevin Rallegh , Karl Resch, Mathew Re uther, Keith Richmond, Bob Ricpshufl', Britt any Riles, Jason L. Riley, Sea n Riley, Wyndll Robertson , Jesse Ro binson, Evo n Rodarte, Matthew Roderick, Eduardo Rodriquez, Dau lton Rokes, Darik Rosser, Dave Rosse r Jr., David Russell , Ruty Rutenberg rGus Ryer, Mike Salopo.k, James Sanford, Treo uis Sankey, Aruther S.aucier, Will Saucier, Connor Schen ck. Joseph Sc.henck, Joseph Schenck Il l.

James Schweiss , Ch ristopher Scoggin, Jonathan Connor Solf, Niclt Semente lll, Sara Serv in, Da mian Sharp, Jus tin Sh arp, Ken Schuer, Mike Shea , Arma nd Shell ey, Randa ll Sh epherd, Joseph

Sim pson, Pieter Sleljpen , Rhaya Sma ll, Serena Small,

Sullivan, Jorda n Swim, Matthew Ta ll ey, Sha'1e Taylor, Royce Thigpen-, Caseyihomas, Katie: J~nston Thomas, Kirsten Tho mas , Ky le ThomH , J<lmes A. Thompso n , TJ Th o ,p. JJ Tin , Jordan

Tra ls,

Wan, Eric Weberg, Sean Werne r, Colin Whee ler, Seth Wheeler, David Williamson, Ben Wilson , Sha nnon Wil son, James Wodka, Benjamin Wolf, Stephanie Wosnitza , Chris Wood, Rich Wood,

Cha rles Wu lff', Dave Za jac:, Andr4!w Zamb rzycki, Ali Zeren . Gabrielle Zula skl

Matt Burton, Brad ley Butts, Mik Calow, Za ne Cannon, Jay Ca rey, An tho ny Caroselli, john Cassel , KyleCasti law, Richard Chambe rlain, Wayne

Max Cushner, Simon

Cwilich, Bria n Dahl, Alex D'Amico, Ben Oandcrson, So rt!:n Danielson, Waylo n Oarosh, Oerek DaSilva , Phil Dav idson,

Voogd , Mark Denho lm, Kru paI Desai, Scott Oesch Ier, Yorcho Diaz, Dan Dodson, Adam Oowdy, Alexande r Dugmo re, Shawn Durr, Nor m

James End icott , Eric Engb loom, Andrew Epps. Kevin Erhler, The lem

Eysei r. Justin Faris . Ian Fay. Jared Fegan, frank

Johnso n, Paul Kalupnieks, Alex Kammer, Joseph Kaufl'man IV, Mat th ew Keeney, Robe rt Ken ned y, Bi ll Kerney, Allen

Mcu~n da, Johnat h11 n Marqu i s, Joel Marsh, Sh elby Marsh , Rich ard Mart i n, Genesis Mart i n e z, Ro n Miit h ews, Effie Matteson , Jo ema r

Middelton , Alexander Mih il n, Mike Mihalas, Nicholas Mih alas, Zoe Mihalas. Jonatha n Miles, Con nor Miller, Glen Miller, Sarah

Troy Small , Chrfstopher Sniezak, Ambe r Spiva , Ji m Spiva, Keaton .Stamps, Cait Stevenson, Katie Stewart , Erik Stron g, Miguel " Sully"

Usher, Renout van RIJn , Wi lli am Vaughan, Kyl e Ve r St ee g, Alex Vine, Kur t Wa ldk irch, Chenoa Wa lke r, Frank Wa lton, Cera Id

Sixto Tre jo, Kyl e Turner, Mackenz ie Upchurch , Chr ist ina

DRAMATIS

PERSONAE

MajorNPC

Name Pronunciation

Description

Page

Acererak

ah-SAIR-ak

Archlich and evil creator ofthe Sou/monger

235

Artus Cimber

AR-tus SIM-ber

Human explorer wearing the Ring ofWinter

212

Asharra

ah·SHAR-ah

Aarakocra elder at Kir Sabal

68

Azaka Stormfang

ah·ZAH-kah

Weretiger guide in Port Nyanzaru

33

Bag of Nails

Unhinged tabaxi hunter in Omu

102

Dragonbait

Saurial paladin aiding Artus Cimber

217

Drufi

DROO-fee

Frost giant searching for the Ring ofWinter

64

Ekene -Afa

eh-KEE-nee AH·fah

Merchant prince in Port Nyanzaru

(sells weapons, shields, canoes, ra in

25

Eku

EE·koo

catchers , and traveling gear) Disguised couatl guide in Port Nyanzaru

34

Elok )aharwon

EE-lok jah-HAR-wahn

Wereboar pirate captain of the Dragonfang

67

Faroul

fah-ROOL

Human guide in Port Nyanzaru

34

Fenthaza

fen-THAH -zah

Yuan -ti nightmare speaker in Omu

117

Flask of Wine

Tabaxi guide in Port Nyanzaru

35

Gondolo

GON-doh-loh

Halfling gu ide in Po rt Nyanzaru

34

Grabstab

Queen of the Biting Ant gob lin tribe and ruler ofYe llyark

89

Grandfather Zitembe

zeh-TEM-bay

Priest at the Temple of Savras in Port Nyanzaru

20

Hew Hackinstone

Shield dwarf guide in Port Nyanzaru

34

lfan Talro'a

EE-fawn ta l-ROH-ah

Merchant prince in Port Nyanzaru (sells beasts)

25

Jessamine

JESS-ah-meen

Merchant prince in Port Nyanzaru (sells plants, poisons, and assassinations)

26

)obal

joh-BAWL

Merchant p rin ce in Port Nyanzaru (sells guides and me rcenaries)

26

Kupalue

koo·pah-LOO-ay

Qawasha's vegepygmy com pa nion

35

Kwayothe

kway-OH-thay

Merchant prince in Port Nyanzaru

(sells fru it , wine, oil, perfume , tej, and

26

laskilar

LASS-kill·ar

insect repellent) Human pirate captain ofthe Stirge

67

Liara Portyr

lee-AR-ah por-TEER

Commander of Fort Beluarian

227

Musharib

moo-shah· REEB

Albino dwarf guide in Port Nyanzaru

34

Mwaxanare

muh-WOX-eh-nah-ray

Chu ltan princess living in Kir Sabal

228

Na

NAH

Chu ltan prince and Mwaxanare's baby brother

228

Nanny Pu'pu

POO-poo

Green hag living in the village ofMbala

72

Niles

Breakbone

Commander of Camp Vengeance and Order of the Gauntlet member

47

Ortimay

OR-teh -may

Gnome capta in of the Brazen Pegasus

21

Orvex Ocrammas

OR-vex oh·KRAW-mus

Scribe working for the Red Wizards

96

Qawasha

kah-WASH-ah

Chultan druid gu ide in Fort Beluarian

35

Ras

Nsi

RAZ nuh-SEE

Yuan-ti necromancer and warlord

229

River Mist

Tabaxi guide in Port Nyanzaru

35

Saja N'baza

SAWJ-ah nuh-BAH-zah

Guard ian naga ofOrolunga

80

Salida

sah-LEE-dah

Yuan-ti guide in Port Nyanzaru

35

Shago

SHAW-go

Human gladiator and guide in Fort Belua rian

35

Syndra Silvane

SIN-draw s il-VAIN

Human archmage stricken by the death curse

8

Valindra

vah-LI N-draw

Elf lich working for Szass Tam of Thay

58

Shadowmantle

 

Volothamp "Volo"

VOH-loh-thamp

Famous hu man explorer on a book tour

236

Geddarm

geh-DARM

Wakanga O'tamu

wah-KANC-gah

Merchant prince in Port Nyanzaru

(sells magic and lore)

27

oh-TAH-moo

Withers

 

Spellcasting wight working for Acererak

145

Xandala

zon-DAH-lah

Half-elfsorcerer seeking the Ring ofWinter

236

Yorb

Grung chief in Omu

108

Za lkore

zawl- KOR-ay

Medusa queen of Nangalore

79

Za roum Al-Saryak

zah-ROOM al-SAR-yak

Human pirate captain of the

Emerald Eye

67

Zhanthi

JOHN-thee

Merchant prince in Port Nyanzaru (sells gems , jewelry,

do th, and armor)

27

Zindar

ZIN-dar

Half-gold dragon harbormaster ofPort Nyanzaru

238

INTRODUCTION

OMETHING EVIL IS TRAPPING THE SOULS

of the dead and draining life from all who have been raised from death by magic. This worldwide "death curse" not only prevents the raising of the dead but also causes creatures that were previously raised from the dead to wither and die. The source of this death curse lies in a trap-riddled tomb hidden beneath a lost city in the depths of a vast jungle.

Tomb ofAnnihilation is a DUNGEONS & DRAGONS

adventure that takes place on the peninsula of Chult in the Forgotten Realms. Chult is a tropical wilderness composed mostly ofjungles, plateaus, impassable mountains, and belching volcanoes. You can substitute

a different jungle setting, changing location names as needed. Alternative D&D settings include the Amedio Jungle of Oerth, the Savage Coast ofMystara, the jungles of Xen'drik on Eberron, or a comparable setting on your home campaign world. This adventure is designed to begin with a party of four to six 1st-level characters, who should advance to 11th level or higher by the adventure's conclusion.

STORY OVERVIEW

T he characters are drawn into the story by Syndra Sil-

vane, a retired adventurer and merchant who, years ago, was raised from the dead. Now, she's withering away. When she consulted priests, Syndra learned that the

affliction was widespread and that no spell could cure it. She spoke to her friends among the Harpers, who deter-

mined the source of the affliction: an ungodly

tic device called the Soulmonger. The Harpers received their intelligence from a lich, but they don't know much about the Soulmonger other than its name and general whereabouts. Adventurers willing to help Syndra must travel to Chult, a land of jungles and monsters, to find the Soulmonger and destroy it. Unknown to Syndra and her allies, the Soulmonger is trapping the souls of the dead and depriving liches of the means to trap souls in their phylacteries. (The Soulmonger snatches up the souls before they can be trapped elsewhere.) Szass Tam, the most powerful lich among the Red Wizards of Thay, has sent operatives to Chult to steal the Soulmonger or, failing that, destroy it. Leading the Thayan expedition is Szass Tam's devoted lieutenant, Valindra Shadowmantle. Valindra has been warned that adventurers might cross her path, so she's prepared for them.

necroma n-

Also lurking in the heart of Chult is Ras Nsi, a mythic, villainous figure among Chultans. Ras Nsi was a human paladin and a sworn protector of the city of Mezro. He betrayed bis oaths and was banished. Rather than redeem himself, he raised an undead army to conquer Mezro. The would-be tyrant was defeated and banished once more. Mezro was later destroyed by the Spellplague (or so it seemed), during which Ras Nsi lost his power to create and command nndead. He withdrew to the city of Omu, leaving the vestiges of his undead army to roam unchecked throughout the jungle.

That was not the end of Ras Nsi, however. Bitter over his loss of power, he forged an alliance with the yuan-ti lurking in the ruins of Omu and underwent a ritual of transformation, becoming a yuan-ti malison. As a yuan-ti, Ras Nsi imposed his terrible will on the evil snake people and became their leader. Beneath the cracked and broken streets of Omu lies a secret yuan-ti temple called the Fane of the Night Serpent, where Ras Nsi holds sway and plots to bring about the end of the world. Omu is also home to the Tomb of the Nine Gods. As the characters explore this multilevel dungeon, they encounter the spirits of Omu's trickster gods and are potentially inhabited by them. Each god embodies a different alignment, and any character inhabited by one gains a special power as well as a fiaw. The nine trickster gods don't get along, and they try to push one another out of the characters' bodies. As the gods fight over their living hosts, the characters must deal with the deadly traps and monsters that guard the Soulmonger. Venturing deeper into the tomb, they uncover clues about the dungeon's evil architect- the archlich Acererak-and learn that the Soulmonger is fee ding souls to an undead horror called an atropal. Once it consumes enough souls, the atropal will transform into an evil god. Destroying the Soulmonger ends the death curse affecting the world, while killing the atropal incurs the wrath of Acererak. Under normal circumstances, the enraged archlich would be far too great a foe for mortal adventurers to overcome, but with the trickster gods of Omu on their side, the heroes have a fighting chance.

RUNNING THE ADVENTURE

To run this adventure, you need the D&D fifth edition

core rulebooks (Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual).

Text that appears in a box like this is meant to be read aloud or paraphrased for the players when their charac· ters iirst arrive at a location or under a specific circum- stance, as described in the text.

The Monster Manual and Volo's Guide to Monsters con-

tain stat blocks for most of the creatures found in this adventure. You don't need the latter reference to run Tomb ofAnnihilation, as all the necessary stat blocks from Volo's Guide to Monsters are included with the new monsters in appendix D. When a creature's name appears in bold type, that's

a vis ual cue

pointing you to its stat block in the Monster

Manual. If a stat block appears in appendix D. the adven-

ture's text tells you so. Spells and equipment mentioned in the adventure are described in the Player's Handbook. Magic items are described in the Dungeon Master's Guide, unless the adventure's text directs you to an item's description in appendix C.

INTRODUCTION

ABBREVIATIONS

The following abbreviations are used throughout this adventure:

hp = hit points

LG= Lawful good

AC= Armor Class

CG= Chaotic good

DC= Difficulty Class

NG = Neutral good

XP = experience points

LN =Lawful neutral

pp= platinum piece(s)

N=Neutral

gp =gold piece(s)

CN = Chaotic neutral

ep = electrum piece(s)

LE= Lawful evil

sp =silver piece(s)

CE = Chaotic evil

cp =copper piece(s)

NE= Neutral evil

NP C = nonplayer character

ADVENTURE

SUMMARY

The adventure is likely to play out as follows. The adventurers are teleported to Port Nyanzaru, the

only major settlement in Chult. After exploring the city

(chapter 1), they embark on an expedition

into the wilds

of Chult (chapter 2), eventually finding the ruined

city

of

Omu (chapter 3). The characters don't know that Omu is

their ultimate destination from the outset; they must find

clues or evidence pointing in that direction.

In

this adventure, three creatures know that the cause

of the death curse Hes

in

Omu: Grandfather Zitembe in

Port Nyanzaru, Valindra S hadowmantle in the Heart of

Ubtao, and Saja N'baza in Orolunga. Several creatures

know Omu's location: the guides Eku and Salida

in

Port Nyanzaru, Valindra Shadowmantle in the Heart

ofUbtao, the aarakocra ofKir Sabal, Zalkore of Nan-

galore, Saja N'baza in Orolunga, and the red dragon

WHo Is

AcERERAK?

Acererak is a powerful lich known and feared throughout

the multiverse. Much of his past is forgotten, but ancient

texts assert that he comes from a wo rld called

Oerth.

Acerera k travel s the planes in search of artifacts.

When

he finds something useful or interesting, he locks it away. Although he's powerful enough to pursue godhood as

other liches have done (Vecna being a prime example),

Acererak has no interest in being a god or being wor-

shiped. He prefers to create evil gods a nd un leash them on mortals and immortals who oppose him. Despite passing up opportunities for godhood, Acererak

attracts his fair share of followers and worshipers. doesn't grant spells, nor does he give his devotees

of his precious time. Mostly he likes to watch them suffer

He

much

and die as a result of their magical pursuits

and folly.

Although he has lived on ma ny worlds and crafted

countless demiplanes, Acererak spends most of his time

attract

building tombs. He fills each one with treasure to

powerful adventurers. He then kills them off in terrible

fashion, using deadly traps and monsters while baiting and ridiculing them. The terror he evokes scars their souls, which he traps in his phylactery, t he location of which is one of the multiverse's greatest secrets.

Not too long ago by human standards, Acererak found

an atropal adrift at the edge of the

built the Soulmonger to nourish it to godhood. The lich

chose one of his tombs-

Negative Plane and

specifically the Tomb ofthe Nine

Gods on Toril-to serve as the at ropal's nursery.

For more informat ion on Acere ra k, incl uding his statis·

tics, see appendix D.

Tzindelor in Wyrmheart Mine.

able to locate Omu or ascertain the source of the death

If

the characters are un-

curse, the following additional creatures might possess

the knowledge they seek, at your discretion:

Krr'ook in

Dungrunglung, Nephyr in Firefinger, Nanny Pu'pu in

Mbala, Bwayes O'tamu in the wreck of the

survivors of the

Narwhal,

the

Star Goddess

shipwreck, and Red Wiz-

ards under Valindra Shadowmantle's command.

As the adventurers explore Omu, they are either

captured by yuan-ti or forced to confront

them

in

their

underground temple (chapter 4). Not far from the yuan-ti

temple is the entrance to the Tomb of the Nine Gods

(chapter 5). The Soulmonger lies deep within the tomb,

which is riddled with puzzles, traps, monsters,

ical wards. Best case scenario: the adventure

with the destruction of the Soulmonger and the heroes'

and mag-

concludes

daring escape from the tomb. Worst case scenario:

the

characters s uccumb to the evil of Acererak, and their

souls are devoured.

DEATH

CURSE

Understanding how Acererak's death curse works is vi-

tal to running the adventure smoothly.

The Soulmonger was activated 20 days ago and re-

mains active until it is destroyed. While the Soulmonger

is

active, the following effects are in play:

 

Any humanoid on the planet that has been brought

back from the dead begins to waste away. Its hit point

maximum is reduced by 20 (1 for each day the Soul-

monger has been active) and decreases by 1 every

 

midnight until the Soulmonger is destroyed.

If

a hu·

manoid's

hit point maximum drops to 0, it dies. Travel-

ing to another world or plane does nothing

to halt the

wasting effect once it has begun.

 

A

humanoid whose hit point maximum is reduced

 

can't increase or restore

it

This is true whether the

creature's hit point maximum is reduced by the Soul-

monger or by some other life-draining effect, such as

the touch of a wight, wraith, or similar

creature.

 

If

a humanoid dies anywhere on the planet, its soul

becomes trapped inside the SouJmonger. Only the de-

struction of the Soulmonger can free the trapped soul.

Any spell that breathes life into the dead (including

re·

vivify, raise dead,

resurrection,

and

true resurrection)

automatically fails

if

cast on a humanoid whose soul

is

either trapped in the Soulmonger or bas been de-

 

voured by the atropal (see "Soul Devouring"

below).

The Soulmonger does not affect the workings

ofspeak

with

dead

spells or similar magic. The death curse

has no effect on preexisting ghosts or spirits.

MEAT GRINDER

Tomb ofAnnihilation

can be played as written, or you

can make it even more difficult by running it as a meat

grinder. This mode of play is suitable for experienced

players who have highly optimized characters

don't mind putting those characters in jeopardy for the

and who

sake of a good challenge. It is less ideal for players who

are inexperienced or get anxious at the thought of losing

their characters.

You must choose to run the adventure as a meat

grinder from the very beginning.

In this

mode of play,

the Soulmonger gains the power to draw characters who are close to death, and the following rule applies:

• A death saving throw succeeds on a roll of 15 or higher (instead of 10 or higher). This effect ends when the Soulmonger is destroyed. Other rules concerning death saving throws r ema in unchanged.

SOUL DEVOURING

The soul of any humanoid that dies while the death curse is active becomes trapped inside the Soulmonger. The soul remains there until it is consumed by the atro- pal or the Soulmonger is destroyed. Once a soul becomes trapped in the SouJmonger, it's only a matter of time before the atropal devours it. You can determine the status of a trapped soul at dawn on any given day by secretly rolling a d20. On a roll of 2 or higher, the soul remains trapped in the Soulmonger, at least until the next dawn. A roll of 1 indicates that the soul was devoured by the atropal. A creature whose soul is devoured in this horrific manner can't be returned to life by any means, including divine intervention. If the Soulmonger is destroyed and you haven't been tracking the status of a particular soul trapped within, grab a handful of d20s- one die for each day the soul was trapped- and roll them together. If you roll a 1 on any of the dice, the souI was devoured before it could be set free. Spells such as commune and divination can be used to determine whether a soul has been devoured or whether it's still trapped in the Soulmonger. How many souls must the atropal devour to become a god? It could be thousands or millions. Ultimately it's the DM's call, but the default assumption is that this apotheosis could take months or years.

REPLACEMENT CHARACTERS

The death curse means that, for the most part, dead characters stay dead. If a character dies and there's no reasonable way for the player to continue playing that character, you can have the player create a new charac- ter. A replacement character should be the same level as the rest of the party. Chult attracts adventurers from all over the world, and the activation ofthe Soulmonger draws even more adventurers than usual to its untamed wilderness. The player characters are among the earliest to arrive, but adventurers from across the globe begin to converge in Chult as the crisis mounts. It should not be difficult to introduce new characters to replace those who have perished. A new character might be the last surviving member of a doomed expedition, a guide who has lived in Chult for years, a lone explorer seeking glory or trea- sure, or someone racing against time to save a loved one affected by the death curse. Work with the player to come up with a story that makes sense, given the circumstances.

TICKING CLOCK

Tomb ofAnnihilation is a time-bomb adventure. In other words, time is of the essence. The characters are under pressure to find and destroy the Soulmonger quickly, since many lives depend on it.

Time pressure aside, Chult is a land ripe with adven- ture possibilities, and characters might be drawn by cu- riosity or circumstance to locations such as the garden ruin of Nangalore, the dwarven forge of Hrakhamar, or the pirate haven ofjahaka Anchorage. Such locations present dangers that, when overcome, prepare the char- acters for greater threats awaiting them in Omu. If the characters reach Omu too soon, they probably won't be high enough level to survive there for Jong. When the characters make inquiries about Omu, paint the lost city as a terrifying place so that players feel the tension of wanting to get there quickly, but not too quickiy.

CHARACTER ADVANCEMENT

~~~~~~~~~~

Characters begin the adventure at 1st level and gain XP by defeating monsters. After each game session, add up all the XP earned and distribute it evenly among the party members. If the characters gain enough XP to advance a level, encourage your players to level up their characters before the next session. Ideally, the charac- ters should fall within the desired level range for each chapter of the adventure, as shown in the Suggested Character Levels table.

SUGGESTED CHARACTER LEVELS

Chapter

Suggested Level

1. Port Nyanzaru

1st and higher

2. Land of Chu It

1st-6th

3. Dwel lers of the Forbidden City

5th-8th

4. Fane of the Night

Serpent

7th- 9th

5. Tomb of the Nine Gods

9th and higher

You can slow the rate of advancement by withholding XP, "banking" it until you're ready for the party to level up. Conversely, you can hasten level advancement by awarding ad hoc XP for making discoveries, completing goals, roleplaying well, and surviving or avoiding deadly traps. Arly such ad hoc award should be no more than what the characters would earn for defeating a monster with a challenge rating equal to their level. For example, a fair ad hoc award for a party of 2nd-level adventurers would be 450 XP, which is what the characters would earn for defeating a challenge rating 2 monster. As with other XP awards, the amount should be divided evenly among all party members. As the DM, you can dispense with XP tracking and al- low characters to gain levels at whatever pace suits your campaign, using the Suggested Character Levels table as your guide. Chult is loaded with fun distractions, alluring loca- tions, and opportunities for characters to explore. Con- sequently, it can be hard to gauge what level the char- acters will be when they arrive at adventure locations. Again, let the Suggested Character Levels table guide you. For example, if the characters are 4th level and about to stumble into Omu (chapter 3), you might want to steer them in a different direction, throw random en- counters at them until they've reached 5th level, advance them to 5th level automatically, or adjust encounters in Omu to make the threats easier to overcome.

INTRODUCTlON

STARTING AT HIGHER LEVELS

Although the adventure assumes that the characters be- gin at 1st level, you can start them off at 5th level or 9th level instead.

STARTING AT 5TH

L EVEL

Characters of 5th level will still find parts of chapters

l

and 2 challenging.

a cakewalk, you can introduce enemy reinforcements . Hold off on XP awards and level advancement until the

characters reach Omu in chapter 3.

If

an encounter becomes too much of

STARTING AT 9TH

L EVEL

Characters of 9th level will steamroll through chapters 1 and 2, and that's fine. Spend less time on encounters

in the jungle, and steer the characters toward Omu as

quickly as possible. Once they arrive, run the adventure

as you normally would. Characters at this level will still

be cha llenged by chapters 3 and 4, particularly

play the yuan-ti as intelligent adversaries. Hold off on

if

you

XP awards and level advancement until the characters

enter the Tomb of the Nine Gods in chapter 5.

STARTING THE ADVENTURE

The adventure's default starting location is the city of

Baldur's Gate on the Sword Coast,

Realms setting. However, any large settlement will do. Possibilities from other D&D worlds include the Free City of Greyhawk on Oerth, the city of Specularum on Mystara, and the city of Sharn on Eberron. To get things rolling, read or paraphrase the following Introductory text to the players:

in

the Forgotten

For the past several days, the talk of the streets and

taverns has all been about the so-called death curse:

a wasting disease afflicting everyone who's ever been raised from the dead. Victims grow thinner and weaker each day, slowly but steadily sliding toward the death

they once denied. When they finally succumb, they can't

be raised-and neither can anyone else, regardless of

whether they've ever received that miracle in the past.

Temples and scholars of d ivine magic are at a loss to

explain a cu rse that has affected the entire region, and

possibly the entire world.

At this point, invite the players to explain why their char-

acters are together, how long they've been together, and

what they've been doing.

each other, you can have them meet at Syndra Silvane's

residence.

If

the characters don't know

SYNDRA

SILVANE's

CURSE

The party's benefactor is a retired adventurer named

Syndra Silvane. Being a wizard and merchant of no small repute, she has magic to expedite the party's jour-

ney to Chult as well as treasure with which to reward characters for their assistance.

8 l~l'RODUCTION

When you're ready for the characters to meet with Syndra, read:

You have been invited to the home ofSyndra Silvane, a

retired adventurer and merchant. A uniformed attendant

leads you up a grand staircase to the third floor, then ushers you into a wood -paneled room with a fi rep lace,

comfortab le chairs, and a heavy tab le bearing goblets and bottles of wine. The dark ly paneled walls are hung

with maps and sea charts. Racks, shelves, and cabinets

hold hundreds more rolled-up maps and charts.

A person is seated in an overstuffed chair near the fire.

You can't discern a gender, because only the person's

head emerges from under a heavy blanket draped over the chair, and an embroidered hood and silver mask con·

ceal the wearer's face.

provides no clue.

Even the person's dry, raspy voice

"H elp yourselves to wine, and seat

yo urselves, fr iends-

I hope I

may

call you that."

The masked speaker is Syndra Silvane. She is a Tetbyr- ian human archmage, with these changes:

Syndra is lawful neutral and speaks Common, Dwar- vish, Elvish, and Halfling. Syndra's hit point maximum has been reduced to 79

by the Soulmonger 's death curse, and it decreases by

1 every midnight.

If

her hit point maximum drops to 0,

Syndra dies and can't be brought back from the dead until the death curse has ended (and if her soul hasn't

been devoured). Destroying the Soulmonger is the

only way to halt the attrition and restore her hit point

maximum to normal.

ROLEPLAYING

SYNDRA SILVANE

Syndra tells the characters her story and makes her request. Roleplay the encounter, paraphrasing the fol-

lowing information and responding in Silvane's cracking voice to the characters' questions:

dry,

"I

was an adventurer years ago.

I

died once and was

 

raised from the dead.

I

have s ince closed the door on

that stage of my life." "The death curse you've heard about has struck me.

1

don't know how much longer I'll last before

I

perish.

Clerics have no help to offer. They're stymied by what

is happening.n

 

"My contacts

in

the Harpers have learned that the

 

cause of the death curse is a necromantic artifact

called the SouJmonger. According to their sources,

the Soulmonger

is

somewhere in Chult."

 

"Chult is a peninsula ringed with mountains and

 

choked with

goblins, and an army of undead prowl its jungles and ruins. Mapping the place has always been nigh impos- s ible, and nothing is known about the region's cur rent

geography beyond a few miles from the coast."

rainforests. Enormous reptiles , savage

"Working from dozens of sea charts, log books, and explorers' journals, l assembled everything known

about the current state ofCbult into one map. vide it to you if you undertake my mission."

PLAYERS'

MAP

OF

CHULT

At this point, give the players a copy of Syndra Silvane's

I'll

pro- incomplete map of Chult (see the poster map as well as

handout

questions to the best of her ability, but she doesn't know

much more about Chult than what's on the map. She k nows Port Nyanzaru well enough to assure characters that they can b uy supplies the re.

1

in appendix

E).

Syndra gladly answers their

TuLEPORTING TO

CHU

LT

• "When you're ready to depart,

I will teleport us all to

Port Nyanzaru, the only major settlement in Chult.

I've been there sever al times before, so there's little

chance of mishap. Once there,

named Wakanga O'tamu. He's one of seven merchant

princes who rule the city."

I'll

stay with a friend

Syndra has misgivings about sending inexperienced

adventurers on so dangerous

ing any chances. She fails to mention that other, more

experienced parties of adventurers have been sent to

have disappeared. and Syndra fears

a quest, but she isn't

tak-

Cbult already.

All

the worst. In truth, they fell victim to the perils of Chult

or crossed paths with Valindra Shadowmantle, and

were never seen or heard from again.

urge Syndra to seek out a more experienced party of ad-

venturers, s he replies dryly,

If

the characters

"I

already have."

TREASURE

Syndra promises each character a rare or uncommon

magic item, delivered upon successful completion of he r quest. (At the end of the adventure, each player can choose a n appropriate item, subject to your approval.)

Syndra also expects that the characters will find enough

In the interest of time, Synd ra is prepared to use a tele-

port spell to transport herself and the heroes to Port

Nyanzaru.

to determine the spell 's accuracy. Syndra knows the city's Harbor Ward well enough to arrive on target. She

chooses an outdoor location near the docks as her des- tination. When the characters arrive in Port Nyanzaru, skip to the "Arriva l" section in chapter 1.

If

the characters agree, don't bother rolling

CHARACTER

HOOKS

Appendix A presents two new character backgrounds that players can select with your consent: the anthro- pologist and the archaeologist. In addition, the Player's Handbook and the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide contain a number of cha racter backgrounds that are

well suited

ing trouble fleshing out their cha racters' backgrounds,

for this adventure. U your players are hav-

treasure in Chult to make them as rich as kings.

share the ideas from the Character Hooks for Select

If

the characters press for coin up front, Syndra

Backgrounds table with them. This table appears on the

gives each character 50 gp to defray expenses in

following page.

Port Nyanzaru.

CHARACTER

HOOKS

FOR

SELECT

BACKGROUNDS

Background

Reference

Acolyte

Player's Handbook

Anthropologist

Appendix A

Archaeologist

Appendix A

Charlatan

Player's Handbook

Cloistered Scholar

Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide

Criminal

Player's Handbook

Entertainer

Player's Handbook

Faction Agent

Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide

Folk Hero

Player's Handbook

Inheritor

Sword Coast Advenlurer's Guide

Mercenary Veteran

Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide

Noble

Player's Handbook

Outlander

Player's Handbook

Player's Handbook

Player's Handbook

Character Hook Temples are vexed by a widespread

people to waste away while also preventing

raised. An expeditionary force is headed to Ch ult to find the origin

magica l curse that is causing

the dead from being

ofthe curse, and you've decided

to join It.

A wizard-merchant named Syndra Silvane is wasting away, and she

has hi red you to join an expedit ion to

believes that your expertise will prove inva luable, and you 've wanted

to study the cu ltures there.

Chult to fi nd a cu re . Syndra

You have learned that a wizard-merchant

is planning an important

expedition to ChuIt-a place full of lost cities you're anxious to ex-

plore. Your request to join the expedition

was approved.

After a few successful scams,

gotten into some trouble with

local authorities and criminal gangs. You were about to make a run

you' ve

for it when

you

heard a rumor that a merchant named Syndra

Si l-

vane is offering good pay for an assignment

Aterrible curse is sweeping across FaerOn, and a dying merchant

far from home.

is gathering adventurers for a bold mission to destroy the source

ofthe curse, which lies deep in the jungles

ofChult. Your expertise

could prove helpful, so

you' ve

asked to join the expedition.

Local authorities grant you a fu ll pardon for past cr imes.

In ex-

change, yo u are to join an expeditio

to the "death curse" affecting several wealthy citizens

n to Chuh and help put an end

of the city.

Your sponsor is a retired adventu rer

Silvanc. A terrible curse has befallen

and merchant named Syndra

her, and she needs your help

to end 1t. The quest will take you to Chuh,

where you can win fa me and renown .

Awides pread magical curse threatens

souls of the living. The Harpers

a distant and exotic land

to devour the bod ies and

have learned that its source lies

somewhere in Chult. You volunteered

to join the expedition.

You've garnered quite the reputation and

caught the attention ofa

merchant and retired adventurer

you to explore ChuIt and discover

named Syndra Silvane. She wants the source ofa curse.

A horri ble curse th reatens to cla im the life of Syndra Silva ne, a re ·

t ired adventurer. She has blood ties to your fam ily, and you have an

obligation to help her. To do otherwi se could jeopardize tance and your fut ure.

A merchant and retired adventurer

trained warriors to join an expedition

wanted to visit Port Nyanzaru and see the dinosaur races.

your inheri-

named Syndra Silvane needs

to Chult. You've always

They say

the jungles are full of riches and danger-two

things you crave.

Your family owes a favor to a merchant named

Syndra Silvane. She's

calling in t he favor and ask in g fo r help. The fam ily is counting

you to fu lfill its pro mise,

and you' ve hea rd rumors that Syndra

pla nning an expedition.

on

is

When you were young, you fled your homeland

of Chuh by stowing

away aboard a sh ip. Now you 're anxious

to return home. A local

merchant is mounting an expedition

your way into joining it.

to Chult, and you've ta lked

A wizard named Syndra Silvane

She' s mounting an exped ition to Ch uIt to end the curse, and she be-

lieves your expe r tise will p rove Invaluable.

ha s fa llen prey to a mag ical

curse.

You 're Inclined to agree.

Your superiors in the military recommended

you for an important

expedition to Chult. The success of the miss ion is so vital that they

promised to make you a captain if you help ensure the expedition's success.

WELCOME TO

CHULT

With the exception of a few coastal settlements, Chult

is untamed tropical wilderness: dense jungles and

snaky rivers ringed by mountains, volcanoes, and sheer

escarpments. Walls of mountains to the west, south, and

east shield the interior from the sea and from the view of

sailors. The rivers are so sluggish that it can be difficult

determining which direction is

upstream and which is

down. The rivers pick up speed only where they thunder down through steep-sided gorges.

The safest entry points into this overgrown realm

("safestn is a relative term in this context) are on the

north and east. The coast from the Bay of Chult to Re f- uge Bay offers beaches on which to embark into the un-

charted jungle. Along the entire coast, the Bay of Chult

is the only spot where travelers can find welcoming civ-

ilization. The rest of the peninsula is a breeding ground

for bloodsucking, disease-bearing insects, monstrous reptiles, carnivorous birds and beasts of every variety, a nd murderous undead. The farther one moves from

the coast, the more humid, hot, and inhospitable the

land becomes.

WEATHER

Chult is hot, humid, and rainy throughout the year. The

temperature regularly climbs as high as

95

degrees

F

(35 degrees C) during the day and seldom falls below 70

degrees F (20 degrees

C) even at night. A day without

rain is rare, but rain varies from a steady mist to drench-

ing downpours. Visibility in heavy rain is limited to

50

yards. B eyond

that distance, only Huge or larger objects can be distin·

guished. Missile weapon ranges are halved during rain.

On days that receive heavy rain, there's a 25 percent

chance of a full-blown tropical storm featuring sheets

of rain, high wind, lightning, tall waves at sea, and

im-

mense surf along the coast. Guides who know the condi-

tions in Chult recommend hunkering down and staying

put on these days. Travel by river is impossible (canoes

are swamped by waves within

15 minutes of launching).

If

characters insist on traveling by foot, every c haracter

gains

l level of exhaustion automatically and must make

a successful DC

10 Constitution check or gain another.

Skill checks to avoid becoming lost are made with dis-

advantage on storm days.

RACES

OF

CHULT

Members of every race and nationality of Faerful can

be found in Port Nyanzaru, but few of them ever travel

more than a hundred yards beyond the city walls. The

native peoples must be divided into those that are com- monly known and those whose presence is legendary

or only suspected. The first group consists of Chultans

(humans), aarakocra, Batiri (goblins), dwarves (includ-

ing albino dwarves), pterafolk, and tabaxi.

category, weretigers are suspected to be present in

In

the second

small numbers; explorers and hunters sometimes report

seeing grungs (frog

folk)

deep in the jungle; and yuan-ti

are rumored to be making a resurgence in remote areas.

In

addition to these known and suspected residents, a

crew of frost giants has come to ChuIt seeking the

Ring

of Winter

and an expedition of Red Wizards is hunting

for the Soulmonger, but the presence of these bands is still unknown to the larger population.

Finally,

the deep

jungle is

overrun

by

skeletons,

zom-

bies, ghouls, and other types of undead. Everyone in

Chult is all too aware of their presence.

C H ULTANS

INTRODUCTION

CHULTANS

Chultans are the human natives of Chult. They have

dark skin, black hair, and a rich culture.

Driven out of

the jungle by monsters and undead, they took refuge

behind the stout walls of Port Nyanzaru,

dynasties, and united to become a mercantile

the southern ocean, eager to do business

who visits their perilous land. A few Chultans

northward and established outposts in dis tant cities

such as Athkatla, Baldur's Gate, Calimport, Memnon,

gave up their

power in

with anyone

migrated

and Zazesspur.

The li nes of kings and queens that once held political

sway throughout Chult have been mostly wiped out

by time, war, calamity, and misfortune.

They've been

replaced by Chultan merchant princes who learned the

art and craft of trading from Amnian and Tethyrian

prof-

iteers, and who now use their wealth to forge profitable alliances and to steer the fate of their frontier realm.

appropriate

for the tropical climate. They trade in gold, gemstones, jewelry, textiles, spices, rare herbs, ivory, wood, unre-

Chultans dress in light, colorful clothing

(HULTAN

NAM ES

You can use the following lists to create Chultan NPC

names on the

names as surnames.

Male Names: Atuar, Atumwa, Chiwa,

Ay.

Some Chultans adopt their old dynastic

Dengo,

Emporo,

Juma, Kunde, Kwalu, Losi, Mezoar,

Mzolu, Olu, Osaw,

Rindawan , Selu , Teron , Ugo r, Vazul, Wesh tek, Yapa

Fem ale Names: Azuil.

Katela, Lorit,

Mainu,

Bati, Chuil, Dela, Eki, Fipya,

ls i, Joli,

Naboli , Nyali , Omoya la, Razira,

Sana, Tefnek, U' lolo, Wadiz i, Yuta, Za idi, Zamisi Dynastic Names: Agolo, Atazi, Balaka, Bolele, Dawa,

Ekulu,

Haka l, lmbogoro, jaharwon, M'wenye, Na tombe,

Ngore, Oboko, O'tamu, Sahandl, Talro'a, dan, Zuberi

Utugelu, Yu·

INTRODUCTION
12

fined metal ore, and other commodities plucked and

plundered from the jungles, valleys, and mountains

Chult. Among themselves, all Chultans still speak their own tribal languages (a mix of exhaled and inhaled vow- els, consonants, and tongue clicks), but any who deaJ regularly with foreigners also speak Common fluently, often with a heavy, characteristic accent. Chultans in Port Nyan.zaru seldom don armor because

of the climate, but large, colorful shields made

toughened dinosaur hide are ubiquitous.

of

from

These shields

are called hlang and function as ordinary

shields. In

melee, they favor the traditional yklwa (pronounced

YICK-ul-wah), a short, broad-bladed, one-handed, spear-

like weapon. For more information about the yklwa, see

"Buying a Special Item," page 31.

AARAKOCRA

Tribes of aarakocra live atop the mountains and

teaus of Chult. Aarakocra leaders are s killed dancers

who use their dances to inspire their followers

pla-

as well

as cast spells.

Aarakocra strive to defend the land against the forces

of evil. They have a reputation for aiding explorers who

ar e lost, sick, or in some other trouble, provided

explorers aren't intent on plundering Chult's natural

those

r e-

sources or exploiting its inhabitants. The aarakocra are

natural enemies of pterafolk and the gargoyles

of Omu.

One aarakocra tribe ha$ laid claim to a remote Chul-

tan monastery called Kir Sabal. This site's ex istence is well known in Port Nyanzaru because the structures can be seen from the River Olung through occasional

breaks in the jungle along the eastern

known beyond that, however, because the cliffside

tures are so difficu lt to reach from the ground.

Omu's royal

family, who hope to someday restore their reign.

bank. Little is

struc-

The aara-

kocra there shelter the last descendants of

BATIRI (GOBLINS)

Chult is home to scores of independent goblin tribes collectively known as the Batiri. A Batiri tribe is ruled by a queen (use the goblin boss statistics). When a queen dies, fighting ensues until a new queen emerges victorious and proclaims herself ruler of the tribe. While the Batiri have many cultural and mythical aspects that make them unique, they behave essentially like other goblins; they are superstitious, cruel, suspicious of out- s iders, fractious among themselves, and just as likely to torture and eat other humanoids as they are to trade with them. They are not only sadistic but highly creative in their tortures. For example, they enjoy tying enemies to trees, dousing them in honey, and leaving them to be devoured by insects over the course of several days, if a larger predator doesn't finish them off first. WarMasks. Batiri warriors wear oversized wooden war masks into combat. Each goblin paints and dec- orates its own mask to make it look as fearsome as possible. Aside from intimidating enemies, these masks serve the same purpose among the Batiri as coats of arms among noble knights ofFaerOn. Batiri of oppos- ing tribes might not know an enemy's given name, but they'll know Snarling Crocodile or Fanged Ape. Battle Stacks. Batiri warriors sometimes ride on each other's shoulders in battle, in a formation known as a battle stack. These can be up to nine goblins tall. Each goblin tracks its hit points individually, but the stack moves and makes ability checks, attack rolls, and saving throws as one creature. Only the goblin at the top of the stack can attack, and only the goblin at the bottom cao move (all goblins stacked on its shoulders move with it). The goblin at the top makes all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma ability checks and saving throws for the stack. The goblin at the bottom makes all Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution ability checks and saving throws for the stack. A battle stack can't jump, but it can grapple or shove another creature, swing from vines, and use the Dash, Disengage, Dodge, and Hide actions. The stack has advantage on melee attacks because of its built-in "pack tactics" effect; all the goblins are waving spears at the enemy, even if only one can hit. When a goblin in the stack drops to 0 hit points, it is thrown from the stack. If the stack succeeds on a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw, it remains intact (albeit one gob- lin shorter). On a failed save, the stack collapses and all the goblins fall prone in a 5-foot-square space. To form a new battle stack, a goblin must use its ac- tion to climb onto the shoulders of another willing gob- lin within 5 feet of it. Other goblins can join an existing battle stack in the same way. A goblin can use its action to remove itself from a battle stack, landing in an unoc- cupied space within 5 feet of the bottom of the stack. The Batiri invented battle stacks as a way to combat creatures much larger than themselves as well as a way to reach enemies in trees. The battle stack formation has the added effect of making the puny goblins appear taller and more fearsome to their larger enemies. Bat- tle stacks are not effective against other ground-based threats, since all but the topmost goblin give up their attacks and mobility to be part of the stack.

BATIRI BATTLE 5TA<:K

DWARVES

Most of the shield dwarf strongholds beneath Cbult were destroyed by intense volcanic activity. Hundreds of

dwarves were forced to flee their collapsing halls, only

to be slaughtered and devoured by jungle predators. A

few made it to Port Nyanzaru, where they remain to this

day. Some of these s urvivors are albinos (see appendix

D for more information).

FROST GIANTS

Twenty frost giants came to Cbult in search of the Ring of Winter. Their ship is anchored north of Kitcher's In- let, and teams of frost giants are scouring the jungle for signs of the ring and its wearer, Artus Cimber. A female frost giant named Drufi leads the hunt. So far the frost giants have gone about their business unnoticed, but it's only a matter of time before they encounter a Flaming Fist patrol from Fort Beluarian. The frost giants hate Chult and its climate, but they won't give up the search for the ring no matter what the cost.

INTJ'l.ODUCTION

13

0RUNGS

These predominantly evil frog folk live in villages scat-

tered throughout the jungle. They build their primitive

structures from mud, vines, and wicker, and are more

comfortable in trees than on the ground. They pepper enemies with poisoned arrows and leap from branch to branch without leaving any trail.

Not all grungs are evil.

A few are willing to help ex-

plorers in exchange for food or treasure. Evil or not, grungs warn away intruders by hanging the bodies of slain foes from trees at the edge of their territory.

Some Chultan guides are aware of one grung village

due south

of the River Tiryki (pronounced tee-REE-kee). For more information on this village, see "Dungrunglung,'' page

of

Port Nyanzaru, just above the headwater

49. Appendix

D contains additional information

on grungs.

PTERAFOLK ("TER ROR FOLK")

These malevolent flying reptilian humanoids swoop

down on unsuspecting prey, steal what they can, and

retreat to their high lairs to gloat over their stolen loot.

The suddenness and violence of their raids has earned

them the nickname "terror folk" among other races of Chult. They are natural enemies of the aarakocra. See the pterafolk entry in appendix D for full details.

TABAXI

Tabaxi are feline humanoids, originally native to the western continent of Maztica. Some Chultans refer to

them as "cat folk"

wound up in Chult after escaping from slavers. They

or "leopard people." Groups of tabaxi

are a cultured people and seidom evil. A few work as

guides out of Port Nyanzaru. Others enter the jungle in small groups to hunt grungs and goblins for their own purposes.

Goos

OF CHULT

A central figure in Chult's history is the greater god Ubtao,

who long protected the land and Chultan civilization. But

Ubtao grew angry over his worshipers' endless warring and their reliance on him to solve all their problems. More

than a century ago, Ubtao simply abandoned Chu It, and his influence hasn't been felt t here si nce that day. When

he left, the Chultans suffered a crippling spiri tual blow,

but eventually the disunited, warring tribes learned to put aside their petty conAicts and unite as one people. To this day, the dinosaurs ofChult are still revered as Ubtao's sacred ch ildren by many Chultans, even though Ubtao himself is no longer popular.

With Ubtao gone, the Chultans turned to other deities,

Including ones introduced to the m by miss io naries from

distant civilizations. Waukeen, a goddess of trade, is re- vered by Port Nyanzaru's many merchants. Other deities

with shrines in the

city

include Gond (god ofcraft), Savras

(god of divination and fate),

Sune (goddess oflove and

beauty), and Tymora (goddess of good fortune). Besides spreading word of their deities, however,

too

many foreign missionaries also exploited the Chultans and

the ir land for

profit, which led to ma ny conflicts. The tem -

ples and shrines persist, but most of th e clergy are now

Chultans.

aren't welcomed in Port Nyanzaru.

Foreign clerics who proselytize too energetically

INTRODUCTION

Tabaxi hunters can be encountered anywhere in Chult. Tabaxi minstrels are seldom met outside Port

Nyanzaru. Appendix D includes statistics for both. Ta-

baxi can also be player characters (see

Vo/o's

Guide to

Monsters

for tabaxi racial traits).

UN DEAD

Over a century ago, the warlord Ras Nsi raised an

undead army to conquer the

consisted mainly of dead Chultans raised as zombies

city

of Mezro. The army

and cannibals transformed into ghouls. Ras Nsi and his

legion were defeated and driven back into the jungle. Before Ras Nsi could organize another attack, Mezro

planeshifted away, and Ras Nsi was stripped of his god- given powers. Declaring himself an enemy of the world, he threw his lot in with the yuan-ti. The remnants of

Ras Nsi's undead army spread through the jungle like a

blight, until now they claim hundreds of miles ofwilder-

ness as their hunting ground. To make matters worse,

Acererak filled out their ranks with horrible undead creatures such as girallon zombies and tyrannosaurus

zombies (see appendix D), mainly to discourage explor-

ers from getting too close to Omu. on the souls of the dead, it grows

it

ous undead creatures. Until then, the undead hordes of Chult have no leader.

the atropal feeds power. Eventually,

become powerful enough to control these raven-

As

in

will

WERETIGERS

Chultans infected with weretiger lycanthropy haunt

the jungle in small families or prides. Everyone in Port

Nyanzaru has heard this rumor, but not a ll believe

Weretiger prides avoid outsiders, including adventur- ers, but a few evil weretigers enjoy making a sport of hunting intruders who come to plunder their land. Since weretigers can appear human, they readily pose as Chultan hunters, guides, rescuers, or explorers to lure in prey. These evil wcreligers usually worship Malar, the god of the hunt. Others continue worshiping whatever deities they revered before becoming lycanthropes.

it.

YUAN- TI

After being driven out of their ancient city (see "His- ari,'' page 60), the yuan-ti claimed the ruins of Omu

as their demesne. Their spies in Port Nyanzaru keep

a wary eye on the merchant princes, would-be trea-

sure hunters, and adventurers. Characters might also

encounter yuan-ti purebloods, yuan-ti malisons, and yuan-ti abominations searching the jungle for hidden settlemcnt:s and lost treasures.

The yuan-ti of Omu believe that a sealed portal lies

somewhere under the Peaks of Flame and that opening

it will enable Dendar the Night Serpent to enter the

world. The god Ubtao was supposed to stand against Dendar, but with Ubtao gone from the world, the yuan-ti believe nothing can stop the Night Serpent. They have dedicated an underground temple to this serpentine de-

stroyer of worlds, but they are a long way from fulfilling their ultimate goal. Additional information about yuan-ti can be found in

Volo'.s Guide

to

Monsters,

as well as appendix D.

CHAPTER 1: PORT NYANZARU

ORT NYANZARU HUGS THE COASTLINE AT THE

south end of the Bay of Chult. No other city elj:ists in Chult, along the coast or anywhere else, except in ruins or overrun by monstrous creatures. Until recently, Port Nyanzaru was under the firm control of Amn, a foreign nation. Nine years ago, Arnn was forced to relinquish the city to a wealthy and powerful consor- tium of Chu!tan traders backed by the Ytepka Society (pronounced yeh-TEP-kah), or risk a bloody conflict that probably would have ended with the city winning its independence anyway. Seven Chultan traders have since grown into influential merchant princes, enticing folk from up and down the Sword Coast with their ex- otic wares. Port Nyanzaru is a bastion of civilization and com- merce in a savage land. The amount of business that unfolds here and the cash that moves through its count- ing houses would make any merchant of Baldur's Gate or Waterdeep jealous. It's also a colorful, musical, aro- ma-filled, vibrant city in its own right. Other than trade, the biggest attractions are the weekly dinosaur races through the streets. Locals and visitors alike

wager princely sums on the races' outcomes. The city also boasts grand bazaars, glorious mansions and tem- ples, circuses, and gladiatorial contests. Enemies surround Port Nyanzaru on all sides. The jungle teems with ferocious reptiles and murderous un- dead, pirates prowl the surrounding sea, and the mouth of the bay is home to a greedy dragon turtle. Characters who question locals can learn rumors that might help them survive the perils of ChuIt. The charac- ters can secure gear and guides before leaving the city. Syndra Silvane is too weak to accompany them or pro- vide any additional support. If you are running this adventure in a homebrew D&D setting, you can place Port Nyanzaru wherever you see fit and even change its name. If you're using another published D&D setting, you can dispense with Port Nyanzaru entirely and use a different coastal city as the launching point for the party's jungle expedition. Exam- ples from other settings include the city of Sasserine on the edge of the Oerth's Amedio Jungle, the city of Sla- govich near the Savage Coast ofMystara, and the city of Stormreach on Eberron's continent of Xen'drik.

CHAPTER 1 I PORT NYANZARU

r5

ARRIVAL

Syndra Silvane teleports herself and the characters to

Port Nyanzaru's Harbor Ward, not far from the harbor-

master's office (area

13).

Read:

You appear in a tropical city under the blazing sun. The

famil iar sounds of a harbor-

creaki ng ropes, sla pping

waves, heavy barrels rolling across cobblestones-min·

gle with voices shouting and cursing in an unfamiliar

language filled with clicks, inhalations, and singsongy words that make it sound almost musical. The aroma

unfamil iar spices and tropical fruit mixes with the wharf. side smells offish, tar, and canvas.

of

Beyond all that, Port Nyanzaru is an explosion

of color.

Buildings are painted in bright shades of blue, green,

orange, and sa lmon pink, or their walls are adorned murals portraying giant reptiles and mythical heroes.

with

Every building sports baskets and clay urns of colorful

flowers or is draped in leafy, flowering vines . Minstrels

in bright clothing adorned with feathers and shells per·

form on street corners. Multicolored pennants and sun

awni ngs flutter atop the city wal ls. A cro wd of c hildren

dressed in feathered hats and capes races past you,

squealing in delighted terror as a street performer

turned as a big-toothed lizard stomps and roars behind

them. The who le city seems to be bustling,

cos·

sweating,

laughing,

swea ri ng, and singing.

Syndra recommends that the characters secure rooms for themselves at either the Thundering Lizard (if

they're looking for a raucous time) or Kaya's House of

Repose (if they want a good night's sleep). Both inns

located near the Red Bazaar (area 18). Meanwhile,

are

Syn·

dra heads to the villa of the merchant prince Wakanga

O'tamu. There s he intends to stay for the re mainder

of the adventure.

If

the characters express interest in

accompanying her, she's more than happy to introduce

them to Wakanga (see "Merchant Princes,·· page 25). When describing the sights and sounds of Port

Nyanzaru, emphasize the heat, the humidity,

the exotic

sounds and smells, and other unique aspects

of Port

Nyanzaru. Some of its notable features are described hereafter:

Medium and Large dinosaurs are used as beasts of burden to haul two-wheeled carts, to hoist heavy loads on cranes, and to tow boats along the canals. • Dinosaurs compete in weekly races through the streets. These brightly painted racing dinosaurs

are

fast, vic ious, and barely under their riders'

control.

• Flowers, green plants, and vines grow everywhere, seeming to spring out of the building stones them- selves. The profusion of greenery needs constant tending to prevent roots and shoots from damaging buildings or tile roofs.

• The city's defensive walls and towers are topped

with colorful awnings to shield guards from the sun and rain.

• All streets within the city walls are paved with cobble-

stones or flagstones, and they have deep rain gutters

as much as

2 feet wide. Residents of Port Nyanzaru

pay little attention to any but the heaviest deluge.

Tabaxi minstrels wander the streets, performing for anyone who tosses them a few coins.

Walls divide the city into districts, and the open arch- ways above the streets are painted with murals of dinosaurs, mountains, and mythic heroes.

• Crumbling ancient buildings covered with vines and lichens indicate the city's great age.

The ground floors of most buildings are made of

stucco-covered stone and have tiny windows to keep

out the heat at street level. The upper floors have

boo or thatch walls with enormous windows to let in

the breeze, under broad thatched or tiled eaves.

buildings are richly decorated with paint, ivy, and vivid flowers. Some are painted in symmetrical, geometric patterns of straight lines and sharp angles, while others portray animals, monsters, landscapes, and heroes in a stylized manner unique to Chult. Where space permits, buildings traditionally include a walled yard or garden.

the city's water comes from rain, so every building

bam-

All

All

has a cistern or wooden barrels to catch water running

off the roof. Every public square is built around

a foun-

tain or rain basin. With so much water running

down-

hill, Chultans also make excellent use of water-driven mechanical gadgets. Many buildings have water wheels

built into their cisterns.

Rainwater running through

spouts or channels turns the wheel, which pumps water

into pools, turns millstones, powers bellows or lathes or

saws, or accomplishes any other labor-saving ing task Chultan engineers can dream up.

or amus-

SIDE

QUESTS

As the characters explore Port Nyanzaru, they might

encounter NPCs who need their help. Given the urgency

of their mission, characters might be reluctant to take

on side quests. They are under no obligation

to complete

them; however, completing a s ide quest can lead to un· expected rewards and discoveries.

Introduce as many or as few of these side quests as

you like. The NPCs who trigger them can be encoun-

tered anywhere within the city. side quest to choose, roll a dlO.

If

you can't decide which

1. Collect a Debt. K'lahu (N female Chultan

human

thug), a bookie who takes bets at Executioner's Run

(see area 3), asks the adventurers to come with her as

she collects a debt.

Th~

pay is 10 percent of whatever

is collected on the 500 gp debt, which is owed by a

man named Taban (N male Chultan human gladia-

tor). Taban refuses to pay anything until he's beaten

down to 20 or fewer hit points, whereupon he offers up a pouch containing ten 50 gp gemstones. Ashamed

by his defeat and eager to redeem himself, Taban

fers to join t he party as

for the duration of the adventure.

of-

a follower, demanding

no pay

2. Create a Distraction at Fort Beluarian. Rokah (N

male Chultan human spy) works for the Zhentari

Xandala, or at least get information from it that they

m. can use to thwart Xa ndal a's pla n or to aid Artus.

The Zhents believe that pirates have formed an al·

liance with the Flaming Fist. Rokah has orders to

infiltrate Fort Beluarian and find p roof so that the

He

asks the adventurers to escort him safely to the fort and create a djstraction so that he can ransack the commander's quarters. As a reward, Rokah offers

Zhentarirn can blackmail the for t's commander.

to cover the cost of a charter of exploration

(50 gp),

which the characters

want to avoid future confrontations with the F lam ing

Fist. Rokah also offers to introduce

two wilderness guides-a pair tabaxi siblings named

a Guide,"

page 33)-a nd pay the gu ides'

Silver·

tusk (LG female half-ore priest of Torm with dark-

of

vision out to a range of 60 feet) is a representative the Order of the Gauntlet and newly arr ived in Port

Nyanzaru. She needs to deliver herself plus a packet

will

almost certainly need if they

the characters to

River Mist and Flask of Wine (see "F inding

fees.

3. Escort a Priest to Camp Vengeance. Undril

of dispatches from her superiors to Commander Niles

Breakbone at Camp Vengeance. Undril was led to be·

lievc she could simply buy a horse in the city and ride

to the camp, but now that she sees the terrain

and con-

ditions, that's clearly not possible. She hopes to join

any expedition headed up the River Soshenstar.

dril is qwte attached to her chain shirt, but she's not unreasonable when presented with good arguments

Un-

for shedding the armor.

If

characters gain Undril's

respect, she'll intercede strongly on their behalf if any difficulties arise with Commander Breakbone (as they're likely to, as discussed in chapter 2).

6. Help a Dyeing Man. Omala (N male Chultan human commoner) is a master colorist at the dye works (area 23). He recently bought some dancing monkey fruit on the black market and used them to make and sell dye.

Shortly thereafter, he received an iron token from the Ytepka Society- a grim warning. He wishes to atone for his crime and seeks an audience with Kwayothe,

the merchant prince who controls

fr uit. Fearing for his life, Omala asks the adventurers

the legal sale of

to accompany him to G-Oldenthrone {see area 4), where

he plans to beg for Kwayothe's forgiveness.

money to offer the characters as a reward. Kwayothe

is wilting to forgive Omala's lapse in judgment

vided the characters agree to kill a ma n named S hago

within the next 10 days-

He has no

pro-

no questions asked-and

speak of the deed to no one. Kwayothe tells them

that

Shago works as a gwde out of Fort Beluarian.

If

the

characters fail

tenced to Executioner 's Run (see area 3) for his cr ime.

in

this tas k, Kwayothe has Omala sen-

7. Help the Lords' Alliance. Lerek Dashlynd (LN male

llluskan human s py), an agent of the Lords' All iance,

offers to trade a sailing ship for an accurate

Chult that shows the exact location

Nangalore and Orolunga. Lerek represents wealthy

Waterdhavian interests, and the offer is genuine.

map of

of the ruins of

If

the

characters present such a map, Lerek has a cleric cast

augwy

before agreeing to buy

it,

to make s u re he's

not buying a fake. Once he's convinced

is genuine, Lerek arranges to have the promised

arrive in

that the map

ship

10 days.

4. Explore the Aldani Basin. lnete (LG female Chultan

human acolyte of Savras) has had disturbing

of red-robed wizards operating a secret base some-

where in the Aldani Basin. The head of her temple, Grandfather Zitembe, has too many other things on

visions

h is mind, but he's given lnete permission

gate. lnete would like to accompany the characters'

pedition for safety, if characters are heading toward or

through that region. She'll provide

supplies, and "donate" another 100 gp to the exped i-

tion's expenses. She insists on stopping by the temple

to investi-

ex-

her own food and

of Savras to gather her belongings and urges the char-

acters to come along.

meet Grandfather Zitembe (see a rea 7).

If

they do, the characters can

8. Hunt Pirates. The harbormaster, Zindar (see area

13 and appendix D), is a secret member of the Ytepka

Society. He knows that three pirate captains

tacking merchant ships heading to and from the Bay

are at-

of Chult. The pirate ships are called the

Dragonfang,

the

Emerald

Eye,

and the

Stirge.

Zindar has permis-

sion from the merchant princes to offer a bounty of

2,000 gp for each pirate ship that is captured

brought into port, and a bonus 500 gp for the capture

and

of each pirate captain.

9. S ave an Innocent Man. Belym (LG male Chultan

human commoner) is distraught because his hus-

band, Draza (LG male Chultan commoner),

sentenced to Executioner's Run for stealing. Belym

has been

5. Find Artus Cimber. A half·elf

named Xandala (see

appendix D) approaches the char acters and claims to be Artus Cimber's daughter. Feigning worry, she asks the characters to help her find him. Artus can't be

found using magic, but Xandala has heard that Artus

left the city with a reptilian man who doesn't talk and

smells funny. Both were last seen heading into

gle. Xandala wants the

session, but she doesn't share this with the cha :acters.

the jun-

Rh10 ofWinter

in Artus's pos-

Summerwisc, Xandala's pet pseudodragon,

thinks

the quest for the ring is too dangerous but

up trying to talk sense into its mistress. Good-aligned characters might be able to turn Summerwise against

has given

asserts that his husband was a victim of mistaken

identity and sentenced without a proper hearing or

anyone in author-

trial. He's been unable to persuade

ity that Draza is innocent. He'll give the characters

25 sp (all bis savi ngs)

sidelines so he survives the run. Draza is about to be

they can help Draza from the

if

thrown into the pit with a pair of velociraptors,

so the

characters must act qufokly. Both the authorities and the gamblers take a dim view of interference.

10. Seek Wis dom at Orolunga. Eshek (NG male Chui-

tan human acolyte of Savras) stumbles

characters in the street and whlspers, "Speak to the wise guardian of Orolunga, east of Mbala. She can

direct you to th at which you seek."

up to the

Then he collapses,

unconscious. When he awakens moments later, Es-

hek has no memory of the last

driving need to find people matching the characters'

descriptions. He's as puzzled by what just happened

12 hours aside from a

as the characters probably are, but he'll help them

however he can. At the very least, he knows wher e Mbala is from speaking to porters who've been to Camp Vengeance.

LOCATIONS

IN THE

CITY

Shown in map 1.1, Port Nyanzaru is a city of walls within walls. Burgeoning wealth has driven the city's richest residents to raise defenses against the jungle's dangers, and possibly against the dangers they perceive from the city's less-well-off districts, which all lie out- side the main wall. The walls are impressive barriers of massive, fitted stone. Like other structures in Port Nyanzaru, they're decorated with colorful paintings of geometric designs, animals, and mythic figures.

The city is defined by fou r steep hills. The western-

most hill, called Temple Hill because it's home to the temple of Savras, is completely walled off from lower ground. A wide stone bridge crosses on arched columns from Temple Hill to Throne Hill, site of Goldenthrone. Asecond bridge connects Throne Hill to the southern slopes, site of several merchant princes' villas. East of the harbor, the Hall of Gold gleams atop the city's taIJest hill, Mount Sibasa, which is connected by bridge to the neighboring Ykhvazi Hill (pronounced yick-ul-WAH-

zee), site of the Grand Coliseum. Steep, stepped streets

and terr aces sur round each h ill.

Outside the ma in walls are three slums: th e Old City to the southwest, where many buildings are remnants of older, pyramidal construction; Malar's Throat to the south, where buildings cling to the walls of a lush can- yon spanned by rope bridges; and Tiryki Anchorage to

the southeast, where explorers and river folk gather. About half the city's population lives crowded together

outside the walls, where they're always exposed

to

sudden attacks by carnivores or undead. A volunteer citizens' brigade keeps watch for approaching danger. When residents of the outer wards hear the long blast of

TR O UBLESHOOTI NC

There's enough happening in Port Nyanzaru t hat you

won't

need

to rely on random encounters to keep things

Interesting. That being said, ifthe players seem restless,

use the random encounters in appendix Bto spice things up a bit as they're gathering supplies for their expedition.

At any time, the party might run into Volothamp Geddarm

(see "City Denizens," page 24). Volo's familiarity with

Port Nyanzaru makes him a font of useful information.

If

the party doesn't already have a wilderness guide, he ad- vises characters to secu re one before they enter the jungle. Volo might also suggest that cha racters partake in the di-

nosa ur races (see "Things to Do," page 31).

If characters visit Wakanga O'tamu, he gives them the

wi zard's journal in his possession.

If the party has not yet

secured a guide by th e time they meet Wakanga, he sug- gests that the characters arrange one through jobal. Volo

can faci litate an introduction. For more information on

guides and their rates, see "Finding a Guide," page 33.

18 Cll.\l'TER I (

PORT

NYANZARU

warning horns, day or night, they scramble for the safe ty

of the Market Ward a nd Mercha nts' Ward until the a ll

clear sounds.

O

LD

CITY

Three ancient, vine-covered ziggurats tower above this

crumbling wa rd. T h e whole district is a jux taposition

of ancient a nd decaying (but still occupied) s tone struc-

tures interspersed with fli msy new huts and longhouses

of bamboo and thatch.

The Old City is run by "beggar princes" in a mocking parallel to the merchant princes of the city proper. They

have no official authority, but each of them sits atop a web ofdebts, favors, incriminating information, and loyal muscle that allows them to get things done with

an efficiency that the merchant princes sometimes envy.

Unlike the merchant princes, whose positions are based

on wealth that passes from generation to generation in

the same family, th e ide ntities and even th e numb er of

the beggar princes changes continually. The Old City is run down but it isn't a slum or a haven for thieves. Most of the residents a re lower-class labor- ers or struggling artisans who can't afford the higher rents of homes inside the city walls.

1.

BEGGARS'

PALACES

The Beggars' Palaces are the two largest ziggurats

of the Old City. Shops and tenements of bamboo are

jammed onto the terraces of the ziggurats in wild pro-

fusion. The upper levels are cleaner and less crowded

than those near street level. A narrow wooden bridge

connects the upper levels above the press and noise of

the street.

2. EXECUTIONER'S

RUN

The road through the Old City splits around a rectangu-

lar, stone-lined pit 15 feet deep, 50 feet wide, and 200 feet long. The original Amnian residents built it as an arena for a highly competitive ball game, and it still pro- vides cheap entertainment for the locals. Velociraptors (see appendix D), panthers, or other hungry beasts (a ju- venile allosaurus is a guaranteed crowd pleaser) are set loose in the pit , then convicted criminals ar e dropped in

at one end. Any criminals who make it alive through the

gauntlet of carnivores to the far end of the pit can scram-

ble up knotted ropes and win their freedom, along with the adulation of the crowd. Spectators line the walls for these spectacles-including representatives from every level of Port Nyanzaru society, not just residents

Bets are placed on which criminals will

survive, which

of the Old

City.

will

die, how far runners will get before

a beast brings them down, and how many kills each ani-

mal

will

rack up.

A handful of Chultans have become celebrities by sur- viving multip le dashes throug h Executioner's Run. It's been suggested that some people continue committing crimes solely because a conviction is the only way to get tossed into the pit, and betting is always heaviest on a repeat offender. Occasionally an animal manages to leap or scramble out of the pit and runs amok through the terrified crowd.

Moments of such high peril provide a perfect oppor-

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tunity for bystanders to become heroes in the city and

earn favors from the merchant princes.

3. R EFUSE PIT

An enormous sinkhole serves as the city's garbage

dump. Every type of refuse gets tossed he re, up to and including dead bodies. It's a festering scar of garbage, ra ncid water, and vermin. Rats, insects, and ravens

abound. Ghouls are sometimes seen prowling through the pit in search of fresh corpses.

Although the level of refuse in the pit rises and falls,

the pit never gets

full.

This is thanks to an unknown

number of otyughs living at the bottom and eating their

fill daily. They're content to remain in the bountifu l pit,

but they'd quickly pounce on anyone careless or unlucky enough to slip on the greasy edge and fall in.

MERCHANTS' WARD

The western half of the city is called the Merchants'

Ward because it's the site of the Grand Souk and be-

cause many of the merchant princes' villas are there.

In

general, this is the upper-class section of the city. The majority of the city's merchants and traders actually live

a nd work in the Market Ward.

4. 00LDENTHRONE

This palace serves as the meeting place for the mer- chant princes of Port Nyanzaru and is recognized as the

seat of the city's loose government.

Jt

was built decades

ago by an Amnian t rader and is one of the most opulent

structures in the city, rivaled only by the grander tem-

ples and the merchant p ri nces' villas.

honor guard of

eight Chultan gladiators is always on duty, to keep away

loiterer s in the daytime and thieves in the night.

An

CHAPTER

I

I PORT NYAl'ZARU

Goldenthrone is the best place to meet any of the merchant princes without an appointment. They rarely meet with visitors who show up unannounced at their homes. During the day, each merchant prince has a l-in-6 chance to be at Goldenthrone, accompanied by a retinue of aides and guards. Characters must wait ld3 hours before being given an audience. In fact, the mer- chant princes have few day-to-day responsibilities when it comes to running Port Nyanzaru, so unless a meeting is being held to discuss city business, the delay is just a

tactic to underscore who's in charge.

If

the characters

have interesting news , they're likely to obtain an audi-

ence and to be given as much of the merchant's time as they need.

5. MERC HA NT PRIN CE'S VIL LA

Each merchant prince has a private villa in the city. These residences have beautifully plastered walls adorned with bright murals, patios and arcades fes- tooned with fresh flowers, garden courtyards open to the sky, and enormous cisterns equipped with water wheels to power fountains, fans, and kinetic sculptures. None of the merchant princes is likely to meet player characters who show up unannounced at their doors unless the characters did something noteworthy (such

as winning a dinosaur race, stopping a rampaging

carni-

vore, or completing an expedition that made significant

discoveries). The exception is Wakanga O'tamu, who welcomes any adventurers traveling in the company of Syndra Silvane. For details of a sample villa, see "Merchant Prince's Villa," page 27.

6.

GRAND

SOUK

The Grand Souk, or market, is one of the three beating hearts of Port Nyanzaru-the others being the jewel market and the Red Bazaar. True to its name, the Grand

Souk is the grandest of the three.

Traders from up and down the S word Coast come to this market to buy timber, spices, medicines concocted from jungle plants, dinosaur skulls and claws, iron, tiger pelts, carved ivory, Batiri and grung handiwork, colored feathers, tropical fruit, monkeys, plesiosaur meat, and all the other riches of Chult. Business begins

before the sun comes up, and dealing doesn't stop until

well a rter darkness

jostling, aroma-rich circus. Guards are numerous, but less numerous than the urchins and pickpockets. Street

edges across the city. It's a noisy,

performers and tabaxi minstrels add to the cacophony. Colorful awnings protect the market from sun and rain but also trap the heat and smells.

Everything listed in chapter 5 of the

Player's Hand-

book

can be purchased in the Grand Souk. Unusual

items might not be available (elephants aren't found in

Chult, for example), but a merchant can always be con-

tracted who'll bring an item to order, for the right price.

7.

TEMPLE

OF SAVRAS

Savras is a deity of wizards, fortune tellers, diviners,

and those who unfailingly speak the truth regardless

of whether listeners want to hear

it.